1994 Ridge "Pagani Ranch" Sonoma Valley Zinfandel
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
So what's new? Once again, winemaker Paul Draper has produced five beautifully made, rich, distinctive Zinfandels. The outstanding 1994 Zinfandel Pagani Ranch (75% Zinfandel, 18% Mataro, 4% Alicante, 3% Petite Sirah) is the most forceful Ridge Zinfandel as it achieved 14.7% natural alcohol. It is a rich, dense, full-bodied, sweet (from grape maturity, not sugar), jammy Zinfandel with gobs of ostentatiously-styled, in-your-face characteristics. This bold, flashy wine is sure to win many a blind tasting. I believe Paul Draper's decision to add a healthy dose of Mataro has given this wine more delineation and structure than it has possessed in past vintages. (RP)
Firm and intense, with a tight core of leathery currant, herb and cedary oak flavors that open up to reveal more depth and richness just before the tannins kick in.
Outgoing and engaging aromas of ripe blackberries with a jammy bent, toasty oak and hints of raisin and loam are followed on the palate by deep berryish flavors made all the more compelling by vanilla bean oak and a dark chocolate note. Moderately tannic and just the slightest bit hot, this sizable wine is rounded and fleshy in feel, and its structure holds back little of the wine’s evident charms.